Standardized tests are intended to give a general measure of students’ performance. Standardized testing means administrating the same test in the same way to two or more pupils. Since large numbers of students throughout the country take the same test, they give educators a common assess or “standard” of measure. Educators use these standardized tests to tell how well school programs are succeeding or to give themselves a picture of the skills and abilities of today’s students. Some popular tests include the California Achievement Tests (the CAT), the Stanford Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (the ITBS), and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. These test are usually given to fourth, eighth and twelfth graders.
These tests measure your knowledge in math, reading, science, and spelling. The issue that is concerning the general public today is if this test should become a mile stone and determine if a student should progress on to the next level of education. These tests should be made mandatory for all students in primary and secondary public schools to take. These test results and the results of other students will be a helpful way to decide the effectiveness of the educational programs in which they attend. Standardized tests can help teachers develop programs that suit students’ achievement levels in each subject area, such as reading, math, language skills, spelling, or science. These tests will help the students in the areas that they need help in instead of sliding throughout school lacking the help they need. These tests will create it so each student in public schools can have equivalent education.
Standardized tests are the best form to help determine students that need help in different subject matters. The primary object to look at is how beneficial this could be. In recent studies done at Cornell University a study was done on States that used Standardized testing. The research found that the state of Vermont had mandatory laws for students to take these tests. This state had an overwhelming difference in students who passed these exams then those in other states. The research went further to evaluate why this happened. Professor Watson who led the study out of Cornel stated that Main has had Mandatory testing for the longest time (Arons129). Main is only one example of a state that has mandatory testing. After every test is given they find the problem areas that the student has and from there determine what will help the student fix this problem. One of the ways they do this is by giving the child the extra help they need by the teacher or a special in the field that the child needs help in. With this type of testing they can find the problems early on with students so they do not get to far behind in the system.
An additional way these tests can be helpful is to help with the teachers and school officials to determine how well the teaching system is in the school. Studies have proven that teachers are for standardized testing according to the University of Pittsburgh (Woodruff46). The Tests are particularly helpful in assisting teachers in identifying those students who do better on the tests than the teacher had predicted. This type of testing also allows assessing the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Results of tests can be used to compare schools, school districts, colleges, states and even countries in assessing how effective they are in educating students. In making such comparisons, it is clear that tests can hold individuals accountable for leadership, teaching, or learning or the lack of leadership, teaching, or learning (Hazleton 20). With all this in mind with these test can be very beneficial for schools to keep up with the education that needs to be taught is schools. These test will make it that all students in public schools can have equal education by keeping the teachers aware of what the child needs to know by a certain grade. A study done by Cornell showed that these tests help give a basic guideline to teachers on where they need to be at during certain points in the school year (Arons132).
Finally this test will make it so that no student can be socially promoted on to next step of education with out passing the test. There are however exceptions to this and each exception would have to be based on the individuals status on learning disabilities. Studies have shown that about two percent of student in public schools are passed on from one grade with out the knowledge the need based on the age at the time. This test would eliminate teachers just passing kids because they felt like it. Keep in mind there would have to be exception to this rule but for the majority of students this test will determine if the pass on or have to stay behind to get the help they need. In the study done by Professor Watson from Cornel showed that twenty five percent of student that graduate from high school couldnt read or write (Arons132). This is very alarming to find out considering society feels if you graduate you should be able to read and write. This is however not the case and with the standardized testing we could make it impossible for student to graduate from high school who dont know how to read or write.
One of the objections to standardized tests is that they are racially and ethically bias. Tests are generally developed or chosen to measure as well as possible the skills that are deemed important for the school system. Many states have increased the programs to measure all areas of culture not just the majority. Another thing to look at is the area that these tests cover, like math if you look at math it would not matter what race you are, all equations equal the same. This would be the same for all the other areas also. The individuals that make up these exams are all from different backgrounds and cultures so this helps with the process of making these tests hard to be bias. Good test designers customarily review their programs for cultural bias and stereotyping, and items are regularly eliminated if they reflect large groups differences in background characteristics that affect performance on them (Evra12).
Another objection to standardized testing is those students who are challenged students. There needs to be specific exceptions to these students, in the states that have these test those students take a different test that evaluates their learning capacity. Not every student is the same so those who have some type of learning disability will be addressed accordingly. One great thing about these tests is that some students who are in regular classes need the help for specialist, or have a learning disability that has not been diagnosed so with these exams the can reach out to those student.
Standardized tests are very beneficial and can be a great way to help better our education in the United States. These Test are not going to be the only thing to better our education but they can be a start. Of course there will be a lot of work that needs to be put into these exams. Standardized tests are a useful tool in the development of our children. The tests definitely need to be put into our public schools.